A little down time

Trip Start Aug 15, 2011
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Ghana  ,
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today I had some time to catch up on a few items before I begin traveling around the country. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get as much done as I would have liked, because internet connectivity comes and goes (the being gone part seems to be the largest part of it).  Might be linked to the electricity, which has also gone off three times today.  Virtually every time I’ve come down here on the coast there have been problems with the electricity supply.  My suspicion is that the power grid is not up to the task, so either there are planned rolling blackouts, or more likely the system just goes down. 

Either way one of the advantages of staying in a nicer place like the Elmina Bay Hotel is they are prepared for this sort of thing.  The lights will go out and be off for a minute or two, and then I can hear the big diesel generator start up and the lights return.  I just wish they had a generator for the internet too…  Even as I write this I realize I’ll have to wait until sometime later – perhaps when I get to Obuasi – before I’ll be able to post it.

I’ll attach a picture of the view out of my second story hotel room.  What a sight to look across the hotel grounds and straight out over the Atlantic Ocean.  I’m looking straight south, knowing there is no land between this beach and Antarctica (unless we’d happen across an island someplace along the way). 

A mere 300 miles to the south of me (shorter than the distance I travel to visit some of our members back home) is that invisible line that divides the planet into hemispheres.  Its a line I’ve to date never crossed, but one day I’d like to.  There are so many places down there I’d love to see. 

This evening I went to Abrem Agona for a Bible study.  Because this is not the usual night for a study, and most of the members are farmers out working in their fields until it is too dark to see, we only had a handful who were able to come.  Twenty-three by my count.  I gave a brief update on the Youth Camp and then made a few comments about the Church and our new Ministerial Board of Directors.  Then I opened it up for questions.

They did ask why the split with UCG.  I explained to them the two different spirits that had been at work among the leadership of UCG for the last several years – and only one of them could be the Spirit of God.  Given the deception and dishonesty and a host of unrighteous actions, a large number of pastors and elders had been calling, writing and meeting with the Council and Administration of UCG for some time begging for them to intervene and stop the problems.  I cited the terribly unrighteous manner in which 2,000 members in Latin America were treated as but one example.  Finally last December we received an ultimatum to either get behind them or "do the honorable thing and resign". 

I also wanted to be sure they understood I did not call their pastors during this time.  In fact, I never made contact with them about these issues at all – rather they called me to ask questions.  When I’m asked, I have always and will always give the answers I have.  Their pastors then made a decision to likewise resign from UCG in February.  And at that time I told them plainly that I could not promise them a salary of any kind, just as I had not had a salary for two months.  But their pastors made a decision based on what they saw and what they knew to be right – not somehow because of money.  These men acted in a selfless and honorable manner, and I wanted the members to know and be able to respect that.  The answer seemed to satisfy all the questions, so then they moved on to a couple of questions about the Feast before I gave a shortened version of a study on the heart of a servant for the story of what is called the Good Samaritan.

There is much going on back home – things happening at our house, brethren who are seriously sick and approaching the end of their lives, and others going through major surgery.  I feel terrible about not being able to be with them right now, but at the same time it is clear this is where I need to be for the moment.  The attitude, love and conversion of these Ghanaian brethren is beyond question, and inspiring.  While I long to be home, I also greatly look forward to seeing more of the congregations before I leave.
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